Download The Harder They Come: A Novel Audiobook

The Harder They Come: A Novel Audiobook, by T. C. Boyle Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: T. C. Boyle Narrator: Graham Hamilton Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2015 ISBN: 9780062373700
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Acclaimed New York Times bestselling author T.C. Boyle makes his Ecco debut with a powerful, gripping novel that explores the roots of violence and anti-authoritarianism inherent in the American character.

Set in contemporary Northern California, The Harder They Come explores the volatile connections between three damaged people—an aging ex-Marine and Vietnam veteran, his psychologically unstable son, and the son's paranoid, much older lover—as they careen towards an explosive confrontation.

On a vacation cruise to Central America with his wife, seventy-year-old Sten Stensen unflinchingly kills a gun-wielding robber menacing a busload of senior tourists. The reluctant hero is relieved to return home to Fort Bragg, California, after the ordeal—only to find that his delusional son, Adam, has spiraled out of control.

Adam has become involved with Sara Hovarty Jennings, a hardened member of the Sovereign Citizens’ Movement, right-wing anarchists who refuse to acknowledge the laws and regulations of the state, considering them to be false and non-applicable. Adam’s senior by some fifteen years, Sara becomes his protector and inamorata. As Adam's mental state fractures, he becomes increasingly schizophrenic—a breakdown that leads him to shoot two people in separate instances. On the run, he takes to the woods, spurring the biggest manhunt in California history.

As he explores a father’s legacy of violence and his powerlessness in relating to his equally violent son, T. C. Boyle offers unparalleled psychological insights into the American psyche. Inspired by a true story, The Harder They Come is a devastating and indelible novel from a modern master.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Thrilling…Boyle can paint a scene in vibrant colors…[with] characters, who, to his credit, occupy a dark space between psychosis and Americana.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Boyle takes you on a manhunt through Californian pot groves, grisly Caribbean cruises, and Orwellian animal shelters before landing in horribly familiar territory: a disillusioned psychotic white guy with a gun. Still, plenty of sex, booze, and satire to lighten things up.”


  • “The story and the characters…are amazing…[with] an adroit realism.”

    USA Today

  • “Stunning…It’s gripping, funny, and melancholy…The Harder They Come is a masterly—and arresting—piece of storytelling, arguably Mr. Boyle’s most powerful, kinetic novel yet.”

    New York Times

  • “A full-throated Harley Davidson of a novel…using some of fiction’s least fashionable attributes, social realism, pointed action…to brilliantly dissect America’s love affair with violence… Boyle’s writing never loses energy or descriptive power.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Maps the relationships between the three people at its heart, as their potent mix of violence and paranoia urges them toward tragedy.”

    Huffington Post

  • “Explores violence and the American psyche.”

    Houston Chronicle

  • “Inspired by a true story, Boyle tellingly explores the anger, paranoia, and violence lurking in the shadow lands of the American psyche. A powerful and profoundly unsettling tale.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “T. C. Boyle’s love and mastery of language are matched by a vehement imagination and a profound fascination with the glory and ruthlessness of nature and the paradoxes of humankind.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Boyle’s hypnotic narrative probes the complexities of heroism, violence, power, and resistance…Written with both clarity and compassion, each of the novel’s characters inhabits a rich and convincing private world.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Violence corrodes the ideal of freedom in an ambitious novel that aims to illuminate the dark underbelly of the American dream…Compelling.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Graham Hamilton gives life to this dark story of murder and the complexities of parenting…Both understated and full of dark foreboding, Hamilton’s performance echoes the lives—simultaneously humdrum and horrifying—revealed in the plot. His rapid, matter-of-fact delivery adds credibility to the sometimes surreal thinking of Boyle’s more eccentric characters. And without detracting from his authority as narrator, his delivery of dialogue allows the listener to identify distinct personalities. Those fond of Boyle’s recent work will find this a great listen.”


  • A BookPage Book of the Day, April 2015
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • A New York Times bestseller
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for April 2015
  • A Carnegie Medal for Literature Longlist Selection
  • A 2015 Amazon Best Books of the Year Selection for Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense
  • A New York Times Best Book of 2015

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About the Author

T. C. Boyle is the author of more than a dozen novels, including Drop City, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and World’s End, winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award. He has also written numerous short-story collections. He lives near Santa Barbara, California.

About the Narrator

Graham Hamilton is an actor and voice artist currently living in Los Angeles. His TV credits include appearances on CSI, NCIS, Ugly Betty, and Guiding Light.